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Martial arts students save man in cardiac arrest

Scottsdale Fire to honor pair for quick response with CPR

Father’s Day will be extra special for some families this year. Richard Farkas, 62, was attending class at Aikido of Scottsdale on May 30 when he suffered a cardiac arrest.  

Fellow students Dennis Scribner and Santosh Rao, who also happen to be doctors, immediately recognized the problem and jumped into action, calling 911 and beginning CPR.  

Farkas regained spontaneous circulation on the way to HonorHealth and immediately underwent a procedure to insert a special metallic stent with bio absorbable polymer.  Farkas walked out of the hospital days later and returned to his family.

Scottsdale Fire honors Scribner and Rao for their quick response that contributed to saving Farkas that night. 

"This is proof that quick bystander response saves lives," says SFD Assistant Fire Chief Eric Valliere.  "These actions set the stage for the emergency responders and our HonorHealth partners to create a positive outcome for this patient.

According to the American Heart Association, there are more than 350,000 out-of-hospital cardiac arrests each year in the United States.  About 90 percent of people who suffer these cardiac arrests die.  When CPR is performed immediately the patient’s chance of survival can double or even triple.

Hands-only CPR classes for groups or organizations are taught by Scottsdale Fire. Get more information and request a class here.

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